You probably know that stress isn’t good for your heart. But did you know it’s pretty bad for your hair, too? If you’ve been stressed lately and noticed a difference in your hair, you’re not imagining things. Here’s how stress can affect your hair.
Often, when we’re stressed, we don’t eat as well as we should. We may not feel like eating at all, or we may constantly reach for junk food. Either way, we’re not getting the nutrition we need, and that has a direct impact on our hair.
If your hair has been looking dull and brittle, try paying more attention to your diet. In addition to helping your hair, eating healthy foods can also lower your stress levels by improving blood flow, lowering inflammation, and balancing your gut microbiome. We know it’s not always easy to make healthy food when you’re stressed, but give it a try. Bonus, a small amount of dark chocolate counts as a healthy food. You’re welcome.
Everyone who has ever had to deal with acne knows stress can cause your body to produce extra oil. And the same goes for your hair. When you’re stressed, your cortisol levels rise, and that triggers your oil-producing cells. And then, you stress about your oily hair, too, right? We get it.
So what can you do? First, as hard as it is, try to work on managing your stress. Second, don’t overwash your hair. It’s tempting to try to wash all the oil away, but if you dry your hair out by shampooing too often, your body will just make more oil to compensate. Instead, we recommend trying Citrus Yao. The citrus helps cut through excess oil in your hair without stripping it. You can also use a natural dry shampoo to help cut down on oil between washes.
It’s true. Stress does cause your hair to go gray. Just check out the transformation of US presidents at the beginning and end of their terms if you need confirmation! Interestingly, though, scientists have recently discovered that gray hair caused by stress is reversible to a degree.
Obviously, age matters, too–if you’re older and have been totally gray for a while, you’re not likely to lose your grays. But if you’re younger and are starting to go gray from stress, managing your stress levels could help. It’s worth a shot!
Stress doesn’t just damage your hair; it can cause you to lose it altogether! This can happen in one of three ways. First, stress can cause your hair follicles to stop producing new hair. Without new growth, hair begins to fall out, leaving bare patches behind, particularly toward the center of your head. Second, stress can exacerbate or even trigger flares of alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes your body to attack your hair follicles. And finally, some people literally pull their hair out from stress, in a condition called trichotillomania.
So what can you do? Make time to focus on your own well-being. Eat well, exercise, and spend time with people who make you feel good. Try meditation, relaxation techniques, or yoga to help you cope with stress. And seek help from a professional counselor or therapist when needed. You’ll feel better, and so will your hair!